Farquhar Leads Classic Superbikes As Weather Improves

by Louis Suddaby

Ryan Farquhar was the quickest man in the Classic Superbike class as the weather finally enabled some serious running on day three of the Manx Grand Prix Festival. The nine time MGP race winner will be looking to close on Bob Heath’s record eleven victories this week and made an ideal start on Tuesday evening.

Two sessions were held and the classic superbikes were given the option of taking part in either session, but not both. Ross Johnson and Michael Dunlop were among those in the first group with Johnson hitting the road immediately on his 1995 Kawasaki ZXR. Despite setting off after Johnson, Dunlop beat him back to the grandstand and set the pace with a 22:04.268s lap but Farquhar would go much quicker in the second group, taking over a minute off Dunlop’s time.

Farquhar also got the chance to lap the mountain course on his 350cc ’72 Honda Drixon while Olie Linsdell took his ’72 Royal Enfield for a run in the 500cc Classic class. That category also saw Chris Palmer in action on a Matchless G50 but he would trail Linsdell on the timesheets by just under two seconds.

Jamie Coward, one of the few riders to get a clear run on Monday, was the quickest man on a modern motorcycle after taking his 600cc machine round at 111.650mph, comfortably quicker than Paul Smyth and Jonathan Woodward. The newcomers were also impressing with Dean Roberts becoming the first so far this week to break the 22 minute barrier with a 102.900mph effort. Several riders, including Andrew Soar and John Simpson, averaged over 100mph themselves and will surely get faster from here on in should the weather co-operate.

The modern motorbikes will lead them away tomorrow with their next qualifying session scheduled for 6:20pm. The classics are due off at 7:05pm with racing set to get underway on Saturday.

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